The Hypocrisy of "Universal Jurisdiction"
Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak—the former Dovish Prime Minister who offered the Palestinians a state on all of the Gaza Strip, 95% of the West Bank and a capital in East Jerusalem—was arrested when he set foot in Great Britain. (He was quickly released on grounds of diplomatic immunity because he was an official visitor.) And now Moshe Yaalon, an Israeli government minister and former Army Chief of Staff, was forced to cancel a trip he was scheduled to make in London on behalf of a charity, for fear that he too would be arrested.
The charges against these two distinguished public officials are that they committed war crimes against Palestinian terrorists and civilians. Yaalon was accused in connection with the 2002 targeted killing of Salah Shehadeh, a notorious terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians and was planning the murders of hundreds of more. As a result of faulty intelligence the rocket that killed Shehadeh also killed several civilians who were nearby, including members of his own family. Barak is being accused of war crimes in connection with Israel’s recent military effort to stop rockets from being fired at its civilians from the Gaza Strip.
The British government and British prosecutors have not supported the arrest of Barak and Yaalon. Those demanding the arrest of these Israelis are hard-left political activists who are seeking to invoke so-called “universal jurisdiction” against those who they consider guilty of war crimes and genocide. They have absolutely zero interest in human rights, in the laws of war, or in preventing genocide. Indeed, many of them supported the Cambodian genocide and have refused to condemn the Rwanda and Darfur genocides. They would never dream of demanding the arrest of Hamas murderers who target Israeli schoolchildren for suicide bombings or rocket attacks. They are willfully misusing these concepts—human rights, universal jurisdiction—to serve their anti-Israel and anti-Western ideology. What they are doing undercuts the neutrality and value of these protections.
If they were at all interested in human rights they would be going after the worst first—those who murder innocent civilians as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing or genocide. But they are interested in Israel and Israel alone. That’s why they demand boycotts and divestment only from the Jewish state and not from real human rights violators. Indeed, most of them would fervently reject to sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Libya, Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe, Syria or Saudi Arabia.
It is disgraceful that Israeli leaders cannot walk the streets of London safely, while Hamas and Hezbollah leaders are honored and celebrated. The time has come for Israel to confront this issue directly and to take legal action to prevent radical Israel-haters from misusing decent laws to achieve indecent results. Just imagine what a trial would look like, if it were conducted fairly and objectively. The Israelis would be able to prove that their campaign of targeted assassinations of terrorists has worked effectively to reduce terrorism against Israeli citizens and others. Israel has inadvertently killed some civilians, but the ratio of deaths has been reduced to 1 civilian for every 28 terrorists. This is the best ratio of any country in the world that is fighting asymmetrical warfare against terrorists who hide behind civilians. It is far better than the ratio achieved by Great Britain and the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan, where both nations employ targeted killings of terrorist leaders. Recall that it was Great Britain that implemented a policy during the Second World War of targeting civilians in cities such as Dresden and that it was the United States that implemented the same policy in its firebombing of Tokyo. Indeed, it is fair to say that no country in modern history has ever been more protective of enemy civilians than Israel has been during its 75 year fight against terrorism.
As Richard Kemp put it during the Gaza War:
“[f]rom my knowledge of the IDF and from the extent to which I have been following the current operation, I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.
Hamas, the enemy they have been fighting, has been trained extensively by Iran and by Hezbollah, to fight among the people, to use the civilian population in Gaza as a human shield Hamas factor in the uses of the population as a major part of their defensive plan. So even though as I say, Israel, the IDF, has taken enormous steps to reduce civilian casualties, it is impossible, it is impossible to stop that happening when the enemy has been using civilians as human shields.”
Recall that before Israel went into the Gaza Strip, nearly 10,000 rockets had been fired at its civilians from behind human shields. No nation is obliged, under international law, to accept the risks of catastrophic outcomes from these anti-personnel rockets.
So let there be a legal proceeding—a fair one in an objective forum—in which Israel’s policies are tested against those of other countries. The end result would be that Ehud Barak and Moshe Yaalon will be able to hold their heads up high and walk through the streets of any western city in the full knowledge that what they have done meets and indeed exceeds every standard of international law applicable to their conduct.
Comment on this item
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.